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Brendan House reports no active COVID cases; reopens to admissions

by KIANNA GARDNER
Daily Inter Lake | December 16, 2020 3:00 PM

More than a month after COVID-19 cases began emerging at Brendan House in Kalispell, the long-term care facility is now reporting zero active cases among its residents and is once again able to accept new admissions.

On Nov. 4 weekly surveillance testing revealed four residents at the facility had tested positive for the virus. According to information on the Brendan House website, those residents were immediately isolated, but additional residents began testing positive shortly after.

More than 50 residents tested positive in the weeks that followed. To date, 46 individuals have recovered and at least 12 have died from COVID-19-related complications. During the outbreak, numerous residents had to be hospitalized.

In a recent letter addressed to residents and family members from Kalispell Regional Healthcare, the parent company of Brendan House, officials stated the facility has gone without a new positive since Nov. 21. And by Dec. 10, all remaining active cases had been deemed “recovered.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends facilities go 14 days without a new positive COVID-19 result before reopening to admissions. Therefore, the facility is now able to bring in new residents.

According to the letter, Brendan House utilizes a unit that is separate from the main facility for new admissions. The unit is staffed with individuals whose primary jobs are to prevent any cross contamination between the secluded unit and the main area. Once admitted to Brendan House, patients will remain in the separated unit for 14 days of quarantine prior to being transferred to another unit for appropriate, continued care.

The facility, like many others in Montana, still has visitor restrictions in place. The building is closed to all non-essential staff and loved ones, as it has been since March 13, when COVID-19 cases first emerged in Montana.